Do you want to…
Improve your self-confidence?
Enhance your relationships?
Evolve to the highest and best version of you?
Achieve your goals faster?
Improve your work-life balance?
Then life coaching might be for you.
The benefits of using a coach extend far beyond acquiring a new lens in which to view challenges. Coaching clients gain deeper awareness and new levels of understanding. These are not one-time events, but life-changing perspectives that become embedded in the client’s way of thinking. Coaches enable their clients to create a mindset needed to sustain change. Successful coaches help their clients maximize effectiveness and drive results.
“Coaching is designed to help you stay focused — to practice “planned abandonment” of opportunities that would merely serve as distractions.” — Laurie Beth Jones in her book Jesus, Life Coach
According to the Global Coaching Client Study commissioned by the International Coach Federation (ICF), coaching clients experience the following benefits of coaching:
80% experience improved self-confidence
73% experience improved relationships
70% experience improved work performance
67% experience improved work-life balance
What’s more telling is that 99% of all companies and individuals who hire a coach are satisfied with the experience. In addition, 96% said they would repeat the process. “Coaching generates learning and clarity for forward action with a commitment to measurable outcomes,” per ICF.
The ICF survey also shows that the vast majority of companies (86%) say they at least made their investment back. In addition, the survey indicates that professional coaching provides a very good return on investment (ROI) for clients. Per the study, “The median personal ROI indicates that those who seek a financial gain can expect a return in the range of 3.44 times their investment.”
“When a society is rich and triumphant, its people start to ask not just what can be had from life, but how can I live a life that’s worth living.” — Dr. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association and author of Authentic Happiness
What exactly is life coaching?
ICF defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.”
The Institute of Coaching, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate, defines coaching as “a change process that mobilizes strengths and realizes the potential of individuals and organizations. The practice of coaching embodies a unique skill set designed to optimize the performance of a person or organization in diverse arenas including leadership, healthcare, and public service.”
What areas do most people seek life coaching?
Individuals as well as corporations and organizations hire coaches for a variety of reasons. Coaches are often hired to determine the root cause of an issue quickly and effectively. Then, coaches guide their clients to create a new mindset that sustains change. This new mindset enables clients to maximize their effectiveness.
It is interesting to note that 58% of ICF survey respondents engaged in Life, Vision, & Enhancement coaching, followed by Business coaching (36%), Leadership coaching (33%), Executive coaching (30%), Career Transition coaching (25%), and Relationship coaching (17%).
Furthermore, a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, ” What Can Coaches Do for You,” defines the top 3 reasons coaches are engaged: (1) develop high-potential individuals or facilitate transitions for individuals, (2) act as a sounding board, and (3) address derailing behavior.
Life Coaching Versus Therapy
Life coaching and therapy employ different methods and tools. The most often cited difference is that coaching focuses on the future while therapy focuses on the past. According to ICF, “professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes, and managing personal change.” A key differentiator between coaching and therapy is that coaching is seen as an action plan versus an exploratory process.
As famed leadership guru Warren Bennis observes, “A lot of executive coaching is really an acceptable form of psychotherapy. It’s still tough to say, ‘I’m going to see my therapist.’ It’s okay to say, ‘I’m getting counseling from my coach.'”
According to the HBR article, “What Can Coaches Do for You,” authors Coutu and Kauffman state that while there are obvious overlaps among consulting, coaching, and therapy, there are also clear differences. More specifically, coaching focuses on the future, fosters individual performance in a business context, and helps executives discover their own path. Whereas therapy focuses on the past, dysfunction, and psychological disorders.
Still not convinced you need a life coach?
Not only do professional athletes hire life coaches, but so do wildly successful entrepreneurs, executives, authors, and the like. Still not convinced you need a life coach? Then hire a life coach because former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, & Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, say “everyone needs a coach.” Watch this short video where Gates and Schmidt discuss the benefits of life coaching.